Former Suffolk school girl representing GB at World Rowing Championships
- Credit: Archant
A former Suffolk school girl who gave up her job to chase her 2016 Olympic dream, is targeting a happy ending to her first-ever World Rowing Championships, on Saturday.
Bury St Edmunds-born Lucinda Gooderham, who attended St Felix School in Southwold, stopped teaching in 2009, but had to wait until April this year for her first Team GB call-up.
Gooderham, 29, and her Great Britain team-mates are targeting victory in Saturday’s B Final Quad event, having failed to make the A Final in South Korea.
A win in the B Final would see Great Britain finish seventh overall but, more importantly, give Gooderham, who competed for GB at under-23 level, a good platform on which to build.
“I have been pleased with my performance. This is my first Senior World Championships and it has been a big learning experience,” said Gooderham.
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“Rio is my ultimate aim, and as a team we are all aspiring for Olympic gold. Everything we do is a pathway towards this. As things stand, it’s a very realistic aim, injury and illness aside.
“It is going to take another three years of hard training, thousands of kilometres on the water, race experience, hard training camps and discipline.”
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In GB’s opening race at the World Championships, the team came third and headed into Tuesday’s repechage as the sixth-ranked boat, which would have been sufficient for a place in the A-final.
However, a lack of experience and an under-par performance saw the women’s team miss out on the A-Final.
Despite the disappointment, Gooderham, who trains on a daily basis with London 2012 gold medallist, Helen Glover, is determined to stay on the water.
“During the Beijing Olympics many of my former team-mates were competing, and I decided that I wanted to give rowing another shot,” explained Gooderham.
“It’s has been a long journey back and unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to make it into the team before London, but Rio is definitely achievable.
“I know that I am in a system that delivers results and we have the best coaches and the best support system in the rowing world.
She added: “Last year the women’s team produced three gold medals in London, and that is very inspirational, as is training alongside a gold medallist.”